Super Over: Six key stories for 2021

With 2021 offering a fresh start, Tom Grunshaw explores the key stories that will play out over the course of the year

3.      Thai ambitions

Thailand have the opportunity to consolidate their successes in 2021 (Photo: supplied)

Thailand’s performance at the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia won them universal admiration. Newcomers to ICC events and underdogs, they played with a passion and a culture unlike anything seen before. If it wasn’t for the rain in Canberra, they may well have defeated Pakistan in their final game.

Thailand’s breakout year was boosted in October when the Trailblazers selected Natthakan Chantham for the Women’s T20 Challenge. In doing so Chantham became the first Associate player selected for the league, as well as the first Thai player to play franchise cricket. Whilst Chantham’s talents were arguably underused, her selection marked another step forward for the Thai team’s stature.

Thailand’s task now is to consolidate their success. Their next opportunity to do so will be at the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. With three qualifying berths available for the 2022 World Cup in New Zealand, Thailand will have to beat at least four full members to qualify. But having shown what they are capable of in 2020, they can expect to be right in the mix again.

Additionally, the ICC Women’s Championship is rumoured to be expanding to 10 teams for the next cycle. A top 5 finish would see the Thailand qualify for the event, along with ODI status. This would bring the Thai team play a regular stream of matches at the highest level.

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